Eir’s profit jumped 13-fold to €286m last year, accounts show

Company making improvements in its customer care offering, chief executive says

Eir chief executive Carolan Lennon said the company’s strategy to build and expand fixed and mobile networks ‘continues to progress’.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Eir chief executive Carolan Lennon said the company’s strategy to build and expand fixed and mobile networks ‘continues to progress’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Profit at telecom company Eir grew 13-fold last year to €286 million, boosted by a €174 million gain on the disposal of a mobile telecom infrastructure management company.

Eir said the results for its fourth quarter and full year to June 30th, 2021, were in line with expectations.

The group recorded a profit of €20 million in its fourth quarter, which is up from a loss of €25 million during the same period in 2020. Its profit for the full year was up from €22 million to €286 million, boosted by the sale of Emerald Tower Ltd for €300 million.

Eir generated revenue of €1.183 billion for the full year, which was down 1 per cent on a year earlier.

It recorded adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (ebitda) of €647 million for the year, up from €624 million in 2020.

In terms of the fourth quarter, revenue increased by 10 per cent to €311 million, while ebitda grew by 13 per cent to €181 million. The company had €224 million cash on its balance sheet.

Fibre broadband

The number of fibre broadband customers on the Eir network increased by 7 per cent to 819,000 customers year-on-year, while the post-pay mobile base increased by 10 per cent to 850,000 and the Eir TV base increased by 6 per cent to 83,000.

Elsewhere, multi-play bundling accounted for 38 per cent of fixed households, up 2 per cent year-on-year.

Eir said 1.9 million premises are now passed by its fibre network, or 84 per cent of premises in the State. Some 675,000 premises are now passed with fibre to the home, up 37 per cent or 181,000.

The 5G network rollout “continues to expand”, with “ultrafast data speeds” available in 320 towns and cities across the State, with outdoor population coverage now more than 68 per cent, which is up 39 per cent.

Eir chief executive Carolan Lennon said the company’s strategy to build and expand fixed and mobile networks for customers “continues to progress despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“High-speed broadband has become absolutely essential, enabling all of us to live, work and connect, wherever we choose to do so,” she said. “We are extremely proud that our team is building the fibre to the home broadband network of the future, for all of Ireland.

“Throughout the pandemic, Eir’s engineering teams worked consistently to bring gigabit fibre to more and more homes and businesses, without missing a single day in the field.

Ambitions

“It is Eir’s ambition that we leave no one behind. The expansion of Eir’s gigabit fibre network rollout to include the upgrade of a further 200,000 homes and businesses will future-proof Ireland’s connectivity.

“Once complete, 1.9 million or 84 per cent of premises in the country will have access to our gigabit fibre network.

“The remaining rural premises will be served as part of the Government’s National Broadband Plan, meaning that Ireland is on track to bringing gigabit fibre to every home and business in the country, making this one of the most fibre-connected countries in the world.”

Ms Lennon also said the company was making improvements in its customer care offering following criticism in relation to delays.

“Alongside providing our customers with the very best fixed and mobile networks, we continue to make significant improvements to the care we provide,” she said.

“ComReg recently published its Consumer Line Statistics Report for the second quarter, which outlines the strides Eir has made in improving the care we provide to our customers.

“Some of the highlights include a 52 per cent reduction in fixed complaints quarter-on-quarter, a 79 per cent reduction in fixed complaints since the peak driven by the pandemic last year and the second-lowest score on record.”